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47th Grafton to Inverell - NE
New South Wales, Australia, September 15, 2007
Surprise attack, but not a surprise winner takes out the Grafton
By Paul Verkuylen in Inverell
Cameron Hughes won the 47th running of the Grafton to Inverell classic. The 35 year-old personal trainer from the sunshine coast soloed away from his fellow break-away companions with over 70 kilometres remaining to win by a convincing 3'48" from the in form FRF-NSWIS rider Robert Cater and VIS recruit Patrick Shaw.
Hughes was exhausted after the event but was beaming, "I have always wanted to win this event, I won in 1996 in B grade, and since then have ridden the event only sporadically, I'm stoked this is a great win," he told Cyclingnews after the finish.
It was his biggest win, and also marks an important victory for his newly formed Ord Minnett team. "The team was created to help the younger riders gain experience and learn in a productive environment," Hughes remarked. The team has been steadily improving over the past few months, and after Hughes finished fourth overall in the Tour of the Murray river a few weeks ago. The team was looking to take the results to the next level, and win a national series event.
Favourite today McDonald was visibly disappointed, "I blew pretty early actually, I couldn't get any water, as they didn't have a neutral for it, so I ran out pretty early and had to wait 20 kilometres till the next feed," he explained, the hot conditions obviously taking their toll.
"My attacks were to help Robbie, he was going well today, so I just did what ever I could to help him out," was how McDonald explained his attacks when asked why he tried so many times after he had said he had, had it.
Brian Fuller (Murwillumbah) was the top-ranked B Grade rider in the escape, and took the classification's win. He was happy with his ride today, even though he hoped he would be allowed to ride A grade. "I felt pretty good and strong. I am a triathlete and am training for that, but I really enjoy the road and want to do more of it, he noted.
When asked what the future would hold, he replied, "Well I want to race more on the road; maybe some one might offer me something for next season now."
How it unfolded
Just like in last year's edition, the organisers opted to combine the A and B grade fields for the 47th running of the Grafton to Inverell classic over the 228 hard kilometres. The race was dominated by the NSWIS and Ord Minnet cycling teams, with both teams opting to race with the same tactic: Place a rider in the early break and hope they build up a big enough gap before the 17 kilometres climb of the Gibraltar ranges. Then those domestiques would still out in front as their leaders reach them at the top of the ranges with 140 kilometres remaining, in order to support their leader as long as possible.
The early suicide break formed just five kilometres after the official start of the race, and quickly gained a 1'35" advantage over a peloton that seemed reluctant to take up the chase. The break-away riders included Brian Fuller (Murwillumbah), Daniel Furmston (Praties), Robert Cater (FRF-NSWIS), Gavin Nicols (Ord Minnett) and Jim Moore (Sutherland). By the time they reached the 40-kilometre marker they had stretched their lead out to 4'05", yet the peloton still didn't seem to want to react, even stopping en mass for a call of nature which enabled the break to start at the foot of the climb with a 7'30" advantage.
After just three kilometres climbing the break was down to just two riders, Cater and Fuller, as Ord Minnett lost its rider in the break, Nichols, along with Moore and Furmston. Fuller, the only B grade rider in the break, was doing the majority of the pace making, while Cater was playing the team card, sitting on seemingly to stay fresh to help his captain and hot favourite for the title, Peter McDonald.
McDonald didn't disappoint, as soon as the peloton hit the first steep section of the climb, he launched an attack that no one could respond to, and soon settled into a pace that would see him whittle down the gap to just 3'20" by the time he crested the top of the mountain 15 kilometres later.
A seven-strong chase group had formed behind McDonald which included Hughes, Ben Brooks (FRF-NSWIS), Nicholas Walker (Bruswick), Patrick Shaw (VIS), and Blair Martin. This group looked to be working well together, and crossed the summit only a further minute behind McDonald. Ben King (WA) and Peter Herzig (FRF-NSWIS) were a minute further back, and chasing hard.
At the Mt Mitchell Pine Forest Sprint, McDonald was just 15 seconds behind his team-mate and Fuller, and the chase group had been caught by Day and Herzig along with four other. Shortly after, McDonald joined the leaders, and all three were working strongly, but not gaining any time over the chasers. With 20 kilometres to go until the sprint into Glen Innes, Hughes attacked the chase group with Patrick Shaw. It took them just 15 kilometres to bridge the 2'30" to the leaders, with Hughes attacking them almost immediately, but was chased down by Cater.
Coming into Glen Innes sprint, McDonald was sitting on the back of the break and looked to be sparing his energy to attack shortly after the sprint. But it was Hughes who took them all by surprise, winning the sprint and riding away from his companions quickly gaining a 1'30" advantage.
From then on, Hughes was flying. The break hovered at around the 1'30" mark for along time, with McDonald twice taking his chances to try and bridge the gap, but the 1996 B grade winner, was too strong. In the end McDonald cracked, and lost more than 15 minutes by the finish, but no one could say that he hadn't given it his all. Cater and Shaw battled it out along with Fuller, who was definitely the surprise of the day and won't be riding in the B grade bunch for much longer, for the remaining 80 kilometres. However, Hughes was not to be seen again, eventually winning solo with 3'48".
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Brad Hooker/www.cyclingimagesonline.com
Images by David Jones
A Grade 1 Cameron Hughes (Ord Minnett Racing Team) 6.51.11 2 Robert Cater (FRF - NSWIS 2) 3.49 3 Patrick Shaw (Victorian Institute of Sport) 4 Blair Martin (KOM Northern Sydney Cycling Club) 9.34 5 Simon Pearson 9.39 6 Shaun Higgerson 9.46 7 Ben Mather (Praties Cycling Team) 9.47 8 Benjamin King 9 Nicholas Walker (Victorian Institute of Sport) 9.48 10 Brendan Brooks (FRF - NSWIS) 9.49 11 Peter Herzig (FRF - NSWIS) 14.11 12 Peter McDonald (FRF - NSWIS) 15.14 13 Andrew Grady 21.14 14 Joshua Chugg (Praties Cycling Team) 22.28 15 Daniel Furmston (Praties Cycling Team) 30.46 16 Jarrod Harman (Praties Cycling Team) 17 Stephen Isbel 30.47 18 Robert Hodgson (KOM Northern Sydney Cycling Club) 54.17 DNF Brendan Jones (FRF - NSWIS 2) DNF Richard Lang (Real Aussie Kids) DNF Angus Morton (Real Aussie Kids) DNF Russell Gill DNF Joe McDonnell (FRF - NSWIS 2) DNF David Kemp (Victorian Institute of Sport) DNF Gilbert Gutowski (Ord Minnett Racing Team) DNF Dale Scarfe (Real Aussie Kids) DNF Matt King DNF Gavin Nicholls (Ord Minnett Racing Team) DNF Darcy Rosenlund (Ord Minnett Racing Team) DNF Will Grey DNF Michael McGee DNF William Ford DNF Nicholas Sanderson DNF Jason Hegert (FRF - NSWIS) DNF Chris Jory (FRF - NSWIS) DNF Matthew Werrell B Grade 1 Brian Fuller 6.55.04 2 Jarrett Wood (Two Wheel Industries) 19.13 3 Paul Wild 4 Matthew Johns (Two Wheel Industries) 5 Erin Rogers 19.14 6 Tony Brindle 19.16 7 Tim Berkel (Real Aussie Kids) 22.18 8 Alex Malone (KOM Northern Sydney Cycling Club) 26.51 9 Owen Belton 26.52 10 Nik Eliads 32.04 11 Hayden Kegg (KOM Northern Sydney Cycling Club) 46.11 12 Glenn Mathiske 13 Graham Seers 47.15 14 Craig Taylor 58.57 15 Adam Connelly 1.14.02 DNF Shane Gill DNF Jim Moore DNF Jon Guy DNF Francis Le Brun DNF Mathew Camilleri (Two Wheel Industries) DNF Gerard Donaldson DNF Paul Sterling DNF Lewis Garland (Two Wheel Industries) DNF Nathan Chiswell DNF Brad Scarfe DNF Tony Balzan C Grade 1 Rod Mason (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri) 7.21.59 2 Daniel Wilks (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri Team 2) 3 Howard Avery 0.01 4 Michael Hoynes (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri) 0.08 5 Paul Wilks (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri Team 2) 5.36 6 Glenn Fordham 5.37 7 Kiernan Smithson 8 Craig Paull (Illawarra CC) 9 Dennis Van Mill (Port Macquarie CC) 10 Nicholas Chevalley 11 Spencer Flugge 12 Phil Scheidegger (Dulwich Hill Black) 5.38 13 Darren Halliday (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri Team 2) 14 Cameron Bartram 15 Tim Norris (Manning Valley Cycle Club) 16 Eugen Schilter (Dulwich Hill Black) 5.39 17 Michael Smith 18 Neil Soden 5.41 19 Adam Socha 18.18 20 Sam Horwood (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri Team 2) 18.20 21 Peter Horwood (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri) 18.44 22 Lloyd Newell (Port Macquarie CC) 18.48 23 Warren Bennett 18.49 24 Matthew Worth (Manning Valley Cycle Club) 18.50 25 Beau Harper (Manning Valley Cycle Club) 26 Rowan McMurray 27 Neale McLennan (Northern Rivers CC) 28 Paul Howard 18.51 29 John Nicholls 30 Michael Lawson 31 Stephen Murray 32 Andrew PATTEN (Hamilfast Uni) 18.52 33 Brett Newton (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri) 18.54 34 Morgan Pilley (Byron Bay Freeloaders) 18.55 35 Paolo Lencioni 19.00 36 Craig Briant (Hamilfast Uni) 19.48 37 Graham Norris (Manning Valley Cycle Club) 37.59 38 Mick Patton 38.00 39 Michael Sparke (Team Coffs) 40 Craig McAlister 41 Peter Reaburn 42 Mark Skeates (Team Coffs) 43 Michael Coles 38.02 44 John Evangelista 45 Conrad Exton (Team Coffs) 38.03 46 Grant Cracknell (Hamilfast Uni) 44.35 47 Huw Morgan (Dulwich Hill Black) 48 Ian Gillott (Hamilfast Uni) 49 Michael Frost (FSA) 52.34 50 Kevin Menz (Balmoral Cycle Club) 51 Garry Reardon 52.35 52 Samuel Alley (Manning Valley Cycle Club) 53 David McDonald (Port Macquarie CC) 55.23 54 Tony Clarke (Byron Bay Freeloaders) 58.21 55 Russell Hinwood 1.04.47 56 Peter Sabulis (Balmoral Cycle Club) 57 Steven Sanders (Port Macquarie CC) 1.04.48 58 Frank Day (Northern Rivers CC) 59 Raymond Potter 1.04.49 60 Marc Goodall 1.04.51 61 David Gerrish 62 Andrew Forrest 1.04.53 63 David Palmer 1.10.01 64 Robert Williams 1.12.41 65 Bryan Ferris 1.15.04 66 Simon Donnelly 1.16.03 67 Kendall Munday (Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri Team 2) 68 Anthony Burgin 1.16.04 69 Matt Powell 70 Peter Kent (Hamilfast Uni) 71 George Youhanna 1.16.06 72 David Thomas 1.26.20 73 Jeff Brown 1.29.59 74 Brad Gooda 1.30.52 75 Peter Baz 1.34.29 76 Barry Bourke 77 Peter McMahon 1.41.45 78 David Roughley 1.42.47 79 Paul Younan 1.46.20 80 Evan Elliott 1.46.46 81 Simon Llewellyn (Dulwich Hill Red) 1.48.03 82 Richard Clarke (Macksville CC) 1.50.17 83 Adrian Emilsen (Dulwich Hill Red) 1.50.42 84 Wayne Brien (Byron Bay Freeloaders) 1.51.39 85 James Fowler (Dulwich Hill Black) 1.52.35 86 Joe Grasso (Dulwich Hill Black) 1.55.02 DNF Grant Bond (Dulwich Hill Red) DNF Stephen Carson DNF David Brown DNF Fraser Chapman DNF Adam Robinson DNF Maurice Mathe DNF Jeffrey Gray (Illawarra CC) DNF Ian Porteous (Macksville CC) DNF Brian Russell (Macksville CC) DNF Paul Kelly-Taylor DNF John Osbrough DNF Morris Trelour DNF Shane Hulbert (Northern Rivers CC) DNF Ian Lake (Northern Rivers CC) DNF Dean Winchester DNF Graeme Pont (FSA) DNF John Williams DNF Mark GALLACHER (Balmoral Cycle Club) DNF Scott Hodder (Balmoral Cycle Club) DNF David Wighton DNF Keith White DNF David Morton (Port Macquarie CC) DNF Andrew Caie DNF Gary Leahey Women 1 Ruth Corset (Townsville CC) 5.40.53 2 Kate Warren (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 3 Jemma O'Brien (Eurobadalla CTC) 4 Leonie Aisbett (Illawarra CC) 5 Katie Jones (Northern Sydney CC) Teams classification A-B Grade 1 FRF - NSWIS 21.12.49 2 Praties Cycling Team 23.48 3 KOM Northern Sydney Cycling Club 51.08 C Grade 1 Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri Team 2 22.17.14 2 Inverell Cycle 'n' Tri 7.37 3 Manning Valley Cycle Club 32.03 4 Dulwich Hill Black 44.36 5 Port Macquarie CC 1.08.33 6 Hamilfast Uni 1.11.59 7 Team Coffs 1.42.47 8 Byron Bay Freeloaders 2.57.40 King of the mountains Cattle Creek 1 Robert Cater 3 pts 2 Gavin Nicholls 2 3 Daniel Furmston 1 Gibraltar range 1 Cameron Hughes 6 pts 2 Peter McDonald 4 3 Robert Cater 2 Softwood 1 Cameron Hughes 3 pts 2 Peter McDonald 2 3 Robert Cater 1 Waterloo 1 Patrick Shaw 3 pts 2 Robert Cater 2 3 Cameron Hughes 1 Wire Gully 1 Patrick Shaw 3 pts 2 Robert Cater 2 3 Cameron Hughes 1 Overall 1 Robert Cater 4 pts 2 Cameron Hughes 9 3 Peter McDonald 6 4 Daniel Furmston 3 5 Patrick Shaw 2 6 Gavin Nicholls 2 Queen of the mountains Cattle creek 1 Ruth Corset 3 pts 2 Leonie Aisbett 2 3 Kate Warren 1 Gibraltar range 1 Ruth Corset 5 pts 2 Jemma O’Brien 4 3 Kate Warren 3 4 Leonie Aisbett 2 5 Tracy Flintoff 1 Overall 1 Ruth Corset 8 pts 2 Leonie Aisbett 4 2 Kate Warren 4 2 Jemma O’Brien 4 5 Tracy Flintoff 1 Sprints A grade Mann River 1 Gavin Nicholls 3 pts 2 Robert Cater 2 3 Daniel Furmston 1 Mt Mitchell 1 Robert Cater 3 pts 2 Peter McDonald 2 3 Richard Lang 1 Hot Spot 1 Robert Cater 3 pts 2 Peter McDonald 2 3 Patrick Shaw 1 Glen Innes 1 Robert Cater 3 pts 2 Cameron Hughes 2 3 Patrick Shaw 1 Matheson 1 Cameron Hughes 3 pts 2 Robert Cater 2 3 Patrick Shaw 1 Dejon 1 Cameron Hughes 3 pts 2 Patrick Shaw 2 3 Robert Cater 2 Overall 1 Robert Cater 14 pts 2 Cameron Hughes 8 3 Patrick Shaw 5 4 Peter McDonald 4 5 Gavin Nicholls 3 6 Daniel Furmston 1 7 Richard Lang 1 B grade Mann River 1 Brien Fuller 1pt Mt Mitchell 1 Brien Fuller 1pt Hot Spot 1 Brien Fuller 1pt Glen Innes 1 Brien Fuller 1pt Matheson 1 Brien Fuller 1pt Dejon 1 Brien Fuller 1pt Overall 1 Brien Fuller 7 pts C grade Mann River 1 Craig Paull 1pt Gibralta summit 1 Eugen Schilter 1pt Mt Mitchell 1 Paul Wilks 1pt Hot Spot 1 Michael Hoynes 1pt Glen Innes 1 Dan Wilks 1pt Matheson 1 Rod Mason 1pt Dejon 1 Howard Avery 1pt Finish 1 Rod Mason 1pt Overall 1 Rod Mason 2 pts 2 Craig Paull 1 2 Eugen Schilter 1 2 Paul Wilks 1 2 Michael Hoynes 1 2 Dan Wilks 1 2 Howard Avery 1 Women Mann River 1 Leonie Aisbett 1pt Gibralta summit 1 Ruth Corset 1pt Mt Mitchell 1 Ruth Corset 1pt Hot Spot 1 Ruth Corset 1pt Glen Innes 1 Ruth Corset 1pt Overall 1 Ruth Corset 4 pts 2 Leonie Aisbett 1
2006 R. McLachlan (Aus) C. Jongewaard (Aus) P. McDonald (Aus) 6.06.53 2005 G. Henderson (NZ) S. Clarke (VIC) M. Lloyd (VIC) 7.19.56 2004 P. McDonald (NSW) J. Libonatti (Uru) R. Vollebregt (Caravello Team) 7.03.00 2002 L. Godfrey (VIC) P. Redenbach (VIC) T. Wilson (NSW) 6.44.58 2001 D. McKenzie (VIS) P. Milostic (NSW) D. Pell (VIC) 6.22.40 2000 B. Day (QLD) H. Vassen (NSW) D. Mungoven (ACT) 6.33.09 1999 J. Drew (VIS) S. Williams S. Gerrans 6.26.45 1998 B. Brooks (NSW) S. Williams (NSW) H. Bradbury (VIC) 6.45.41 1997 J. Drew (VIS) D. McKenzie (VIS) B. Litchfield (Turra) 6.35.04 1996 D. Forster (VIC) D. Smith (Vic) C. Saunders (NZ) 6.54.19 1995 T. Christopher (ACT) W. Kestle (Vic) C. Saunders (NZ) 6.24.36 1994 C. Saunders (NZ) D. Forster (Vic) P. Rugari (Vic) 6.37.55 1993 S Drake (Vic) D Perry (NSW) T Jordon (NSW) 6.32.30 1992 B J Shearsby (Vic) G Wilson (Qld) M Elliot (Qld) 7.00.43 1991 Stephen Fairless (VIC) Justin Grindal (VIC) Scott Steward (VIC) 6.59.43 1990 Nigel Perry (NSW) Glen Wilson (QLD) David Perry (NSW) 7.01.33 1989 Nate Reiss (USA) Ewe Winter (W/Ger) John Groom (Aust) 6.39.23 1988 G Luc Pierobon (Italy) B St George (Aust) R McCorkell (Vic) 6.39.23 1987 A Peterson (Norway) T Durst (W/Germany) T Mancini (Swiss) 6.19.53 1986 A Logan (NSW) I McKenzie (NT) S Sunderland (NSW) 6.37.27 1985 P Curran (Gt Britain) M Ansermet (Swiss) L Wahlkqvist (Sweden) 6.00.49 1984 M Lynch (Vic) E Poli (Italy) R Crossley (Qld) 6.44.52 1983 R McCorkell (Vic) M Lynch (Vic) C Walsh (Qld) 6.32.14 1982 S Cox (NZ) J Swart (NZ) B Stockwell MBE (NZ) 6.24.35 1981 A Gill (SA) G Oliver (NSW) G Brooks (Vic) 6.24.37 1980 W Hammond (Vic) G Hammond (Vic) M Blyth (NSW) 6.47.05 1979 G McVilley (Tas) V Hanaray (NZ) M Nicholls (NZ) 6.43.46 1978 R Piper (NSW) H Berkery (NSW) M McKinnell (NZ) M Wilson (Tas) 6.37.47 1977 R Glindeman (Qld) G Stone (NSW) R McCorkell (Vic) G Sutton (NSW) 7.33.00 1976 R Sansonetti (Vic) A Spokes (NSW) G Parkes (NSW) 7.19.34 1975 R Hines (NSW) T Parkes (NSW) M Glindeman (Qld) 6.38.21 1974 B Ferris (Qld) R Bates (NSW) K Bartlett (NSW) T Parkes (NSW) 7.18.77 1973 V Breen (NSW) P Brown (NSW) L Roe (NSW) A Spokes (NSW) 6.35.08 1972 K Brindle (NSW) M Kautto (NSW) K Bartlett (NSW) L Cooper (NZ) 6.51.34 1971 R Bush (NZ) R Davis (NZ) M Kautto (NSW) J Trevorrow (Vic) 7.03.33 1970 D Strahley (NSW) E Wixon (Qld) T Moore (NSW) J Trevorrow (Vic) 7.57.08 1969 B Ryalls (Qld) P Littlejohn (NSW) D Thompson (Qld) 6.44.44 1968 K Morgan (Tas) D Browne (NZ) T Savimaki (Qld) 6.23.21 1967 D Wilson (Vic) K Brindle (NSW) D Garrett (Qld) 6.53.54 1966 M Redman (NSW) B Johnson (NSW) P. Markham (NSW) T Savimaki (Qld) 6.57.57 1965 L Cook (NSW) R Barron (Qld) T Moore (NSW) D Wilson (Vic) 6.36.02 1964 J Ferranda (NSW) N McDonough (NSW) K Long (Vic) V Adams (NSW) 7.04.10 1963 N Burnell (NSW) H Summers (Vic) C Kruf (NSW) J Lloyd (NSW) 7.23.23 1962 P Chapman (NSW) G Brown (NSW) F Fransen (NSW) J Lloyd (NSW) 7.19.41 1961 A Grindal (Vic) G Garden (NSW) T Tolley (NSW) 7.39.11 *(Record)